Baby boomer blurbs: Married life, boomer technology and more
Young adults are more likely than older Americans to have wireless-ready computers and Internet-connected cell phones, according to the Pew Internet & American Life project, but boomers aren’t far behind. Twenty-two percent of Internet users in Generation Y have used laptops with wireless connections in the past month, compared with 17 percent of boomers. Forty-five percent of Gen Y Internet users also have phones that can use the Internet, compared with 25 percent of baby boomers.
That’s the number of people 65 and older in the United States as of 2007. That age group accounted for 13 percent of the total population, which increased by 635,000 people from the previous year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The bureau projects that the population of that group in the year 2050 will be 89 million and will comprise 20 percent of the total population at that time.
The median income of households with householders 65 and older was $28,000 in 2007, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The poverty rate for that age group was 10 percent. There were 6 million seniors in poverty in 2007, up from 3 million in 2006.
Baby boomers are using technology to learn more about politics, according to the Pew Research Center for People & the Press. Thirty-four percent of people ages 50 to 64 have watched some type of campaign-related video online during election season. Twenty-four percent of baby boomers read campaign blogs, and 9 percent of older voters read them as well.
Of people 65 and older, 54 percent were married as of 2007, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Sadly, 31 percent were widowed. But they weren’t alone. Sixty-five percent of people 65 and older lived with relatives, and only 27 percent lived alone. An additional 5 percent lived in group quarters.
This summer marked the 44th anniversary of the signing of the Older Americans Act. On July 14, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the act into law, giving states more resources to assist older Americans. During the ceremony, the former president said, “The Older Americans Act clearly affirms our nation’s sense of responsibility toward the well-being of all of our older citizens. But even more, the results of this act will help us to expand our opportunities for enriching the lives of all of our citizens in this country, now and in the years to come.”
Where to live
Surprisingly, Florida is not the No. 1 retirement state, the Census Bureau says. There were 4 million people who retired in California, which is the highest total of any state. Florida was the runner-up with 3 million. But in Florida, 17 percent of the population was 65 and up, which led the nation. States with the next highest percentages of older people are West Virginia with 16 percent and Pennsylvania with 15 percent.
Serving the country
There were 358,000 living veterans in 2007 who served during the Vietnam and Gulf War eras. There were 315,000 who served during the Korean and Vietnam wars; 69,000 who served during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War; and 263 who served during World War II and the Korean War, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
That’s the amount that Vice President Joe Biden recently said will be funding senior nutrition programs. The money will pay for nearly 14 million meals nationwide to thousands of low-income older Americans. Sixty-five percent of that money will be used to pay for congregate nutrition services delivered to frail elders at home, and $3 million will be used for Native American nutrition programs.
Leaving on a jet plane
Baby boomer households had the highest travel volume out of any age group in the United States in 2003 – the latest statistics available – according to the Domestic Travel Market Report. They registered 269 million trips, and during those vacations, they’re most likely to stay in a hotel, mote or bed and breakfast on overnight trips. Of those travels, 29 percent were for business.